August 7, 2013
It was in 1975 when the world-renowned Detroit-born photographer Nicolas Nixon, a professor of photography at the Massachusetts College of Art originally photographed his wife Bebe and her 3 sisters. They liked the picture so much that they collectively decided to make it a yearly event – the annual family photo – the family’s “annual rite of passage,” as Nicolas Nixon has called it.
Each image reflects another year of life experiences that take their toll.
In 1999, when the resulting series of photographs reached its twenty-fifth anniversary, The Museum of Modern Art published The Brown Sisters photography book, presenting all of the portraits in sequence. “We might wish,” said Peter Galassi, the Museum’s Chief Curator of Photography, “that our family included a photographer of such discipline and skill but otherwise Nixon’s pictures do what all family photographs do: they fix a presence and mark the passage of time, graciously declining to expound or explain.”
That edition is out of print. Eight years later the Museum is published a second edition, including eight new photographs that brought the series up to date.
As of today the Brown Sisters photo story numbers 36 photographs – candid and and at the same time poetic.
You can view them here »
April 9, 2013
The works of Nikolay Bakharev – a Russian family photographer from a miners’ town – will be exhibited at The Venice Biennale (La Biennale di Venezia) – one of the most prestigious international cultural event. Ever since its foundation, it has been at the forefront in the research and promotion of new artistic trends.
Bakharev, now known as the pioneer of Soviet Eroticism in photography, started his career in the 70s working as a family photographer in a miners’ town of Novokuznetsk taking pictures in schools and kindergartens, at funerals and weddings.
It was good money but he was looking to raise the plank in his trade. He regularly read photo magazines Sovetskoye Photo, Czech Photo Review, German FotoMAGAZIN in search of creative ideas.
His found his clients among workers, students in hostels, people on the beach who later invited him to take photos at their homes. They had no special requirements except “make it beautiful”.
Who knew that many years later these shots would be considered museum grade Art.
In the words of Bakharev, “A human being is interesting with his or her openness and frankness… it has nothing to do with an exalted spirituality and beauty which seems to be hidden in any person and must be revealed.”
The Beach Series Photos By Nikolay Bakharev »
Nikolay Bakharev in Conversation with Luca Desienna »